The market is up 28. The SFE Futures were up 30 this morning.

The Dow closed down 20 after being up as much as 36 early in the day. The S&P 500 closed up 0.11% to record its best gain in three months. It was its fifth straight week higher. European markets were higher for a fourth straight day, climbing to eight-month highs. The gold price was down $3.70 to $1655.80. Oil was up $1.95 to 107.06 a barrel. Metals were mostly down on the LME. The Aussie dollar was higher at 105.94¢. Energy stocks were best, up 1.4%. Materials and Financials also outperformed.

Main points:

  • Lynas Corp (LYC) has said the Malaysian government has set up a parliamentary committee in relation to the trouble occurring at their processing plant. The purpose of the committee is to help raise awareness and not to decide on matters such as the approval and operation of the plant.
  • Ramelius Resources (RMS) announced gold production has commenced at Mt Magnet Gold project in WA. They expect gold production to steadily increase in the coming months.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has been fined $300,000 by ASIC it failed to disclose negative news to the market immediately. The company announced a surprise loss of $400m less than two months after it had forecasted a $480m profit. As part of accepting the fine the company has agreed to implement a formal review of its continuous disclosure policies and procedures.
  • Insurance Australia (IAG) is set to join the heated hybrid market by announcing a $350m hybrid note issue to raise capital. The note is expected to pay 350-400 basis points slightly above the 320 Westpac notes. Distributions are also said to be franked.  The funds are to be used for general corporate purposes.
  • Ten Network Holdings (TEN) has put its outdoor advertising business Eye Corp for sale for potential private equity and international trade buyers. The business is estimated to bring in $130m. APN News and Media (APN) and Ooh!media could be potential  buyers. The sale will provide TEN with added balance sheet flexibility at a time when profits have declined.
  • David Jones (DJS) will confirm market fears of a 50% drop in future credit card earnings. They expect earnings to fall between $24m-$27m a year, which is half of the $51m previously. The company’s cost cutting is believe to have been too aggressive and is now paying the price. The heavier discounting has hurt gross margins which are expected to slip 38%-40%. DJS reports their 1st H results Wednesday. DJS shares are in trading halt.
  • CBA Business Sales Indicator increases by 0.6 per cent in trend terms. Business sales continued to strengthen in January, with positive figures recorded across all States and Territories.

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